Elementary School Students Discover Hydraulics In and Out of Their Classroom

Young student learning hydraulicsMost educators believe that the younger you get students learning with hands-on activities the better. It makes concepts easier to understand, not to mention fun. Fourth and fifth graders in Porterville, CA learned about hydraulics in class while watching building construction outside their window. The teacher, Trenton Matthiesen, said that the students had been studying hydraulics for about two weeks. They were given the plans and the materials and they made machines out of popsicle sticks, straws, tape and syringes. The teams of two students each competed on how many quarters their machines could hold. The winning team’s machine held thirty quarters.

One student said, “We learned that machines move by hydraulics, which is ‘incomprehensible’ [sic] liquid.”

Another student said “It was a lot of fun.”

This project helped the students understand how the heavy equipment outside their window works.

To learn more about getting involved with  your local schools, please contact Lynn Beyer at lbeyer@nfpa.com or 414-778-3364

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